Registry defends fees for .hk domain name

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 December, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 December, 2003, 12:00am

I would like to thank Steve Lovell for his comments on the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corp (HKIRC) published in the Technology section on November 25. We at HKIRC, the .hk registry, value public comments as the administrator of a public resource.

We are a non-profit organisation but we also need to be self funded. This is necessary to provide quality service and for developing new services on a sustainable basis. An organisation running on a deficit is likely to seek financial support from the government, which means money from taxpayers. This is certainly not the situation that we want to get into. Also an organisation running on a deficit is likely to provide a sub-standard service.

The main reason that we implemented second-level .hk is to provide more choices to consumers. It is also consistent with a global trend for other generic top level domain names. The registries of other country and regional top-level domains such as China, Canada, France and Japan, to name a few, have implemented similar offerings.

Based on customer feedback, we also strive to reduce paperwork requirements for registration - another international trend. This is why we will no longer require documentary proof for the new service category of second-level .hk domains. HKIRC and our development policies were established through government and industry participation after consultation. To provide a good level of sustained service, and for the investment of developing new services such as Chinese-language domain names, we must charge fees.

We will continue to try to lower our cost and charges. We take Mr Lovell's comments as a powerful point that we have not yet done enough and we will strive to win his support in future. Jonathan Shea Chief executive HKIRC

Ad campaign on smart ID card FAILS TO DO JOB

It is always good to start a letter of annoyance with praise. What could I possibly be referring to? The smart ID card, of course.

I recently went to Elizabeth House to be upgraded and was pleasantly surprised at the service. The old tatty halls, furniture and notice systems of the immigration tower have been surpassed by a plush high-technology scene reminiscent of a sci-fi movie. And so have the staff, it would seem. What a helpful and friendly bunch they were, not only accepting my unique Monday morning British sense of humour but participating as well. I shall not name them in case they are disciplined.

So, to the secondary reason. Why do the powers that be believe that they have made a significant effort to inform people of this programme? They have advertised on the television, on the radio, in the newspapers and even on their website. These methods are known as 'pull', whereas sending a letter, or even an e-mail, or making a telephone call are the only effective methods and are referred to as 'push'.

Is this a deliberate tactic to replenish dented coffers after a string of poor financial decisions or an effort to create more couch potatoes?

I do not watch television, primarily because I do not have time and also because there is no content that interests me. I also do not listen to the radio as I cannot stand being told to clean my house by the incessant drone of a voiceover actor. As for websites, you have to advertise them before people visit them. If you want to net the expat community, all that is needed is a $10 poster at each immigration desk at Chek Lap Kok airport.

I am one of the 80,000 people who was unaware of the programme and I would like to see someone try to get $5,000 out of me. I have the perfect excuse for Mr Immigration. No one told me! Jamie Garroch Lantau